In this post I would like to propose my analysis on how CrossFit is changing in light of the re positioning of CrossFit Inc. I have been practicing this type of training for the past ten years, with ups and downs and I was lucky enough to be a Box Manager first and then to work with many LORs around Europe and therefore to stay well or badly always on the front line.
Since 2009, when I approached CrossFit, many things have changed, starting with the number of Boxes present both globally and at Italian level. For the uninitiated, Italy is the European country with the largest number of Boxes in its territory, most of which are configured as Amateur Sports Associations as it emerged from a survey that the company I work for has launched recently in Italy.
We then moved from a few Boxes, mostly located in urban areas, to over 560 Boxes scattered a little everywhere that developed mostly originating from those first original Boxes, a bit like cells. And this fact is not only noticeable for the distribution on the territory, which follows a very precise scheme even if unaware, but also by type of organization, class management and various other factors that characterize a Box.
In 2009 the CrossFit was practically an activity reserved for a restricted elite of people, mostly coming from the martial arts who had found in this type of training something that allowed them to stand out from the mass of people who attended traditional gyms. We trained in relatively small spaces, driven by an almost epic mentality in which concepts such as sacrifice, dedication, overcoming limits and in general an almost heroic vision of CrossFitter reigned.
Moreover, it is not surprising as in the USA the CrossFIt was practiced mainly by military, law enforcement, firefighters and in general people not exactly common. The very communication of CrossFit Inc. was basic and focused on the differences between CrossFit and the so-called Globo Gyms. Who doesn’t remember the video of the guy on the exercise bike reading the comics?
It was 2010 and if we look now, the old woman who does her exercises in the cute “happy days” set recently set up to show exercises that can really be done by everyone, it seems clear how things have changed.
Even the CrossFit Inc website was different and basically focused on showing the WOD of the day and information mostly on CrossFit in general as a training methodology in which sacred monsters were cited such as Coach Burgener, Louie Simmons and other famous coaches of various disciplines that were the most unknown. Here is a page from 2010.
Today, after the abandonment of Social Networks by CrossFit Inc, the website has become not only more modern and easy to navigate but has become a complete tool for disseminating CrossFit as a lifestyle, fully embracing the so-called “New era” which is nothing but a slow and precise operation of repositioning the brand.
The clear distinction that has been created in terms of communication between the competitive aspect, namely the Games and that, let’s call it everyday, seems to distance itself from the initial concept of Elite Fitness, as well as that of Sport of Fitness, fruit of the Reebok’s relaunch campaign that in 2012 linked its fate to that of CrossFit Inc.
CrossFit evolves back to the origins
Today, at the end of 2019, CrossFit Inc, which in the meantime has lost its CEO, gradually corrects the shot and sends a strong and clear message: “CrossFit is for everyone and is a healthy activity that helps preventing many conditions related to overeating and lack of movement “.
What then, to be honest, was basically the initial message, the founding value of CrossFit that has been lost over time falling into the trap of improving performance at all costs operated by many Box Owners, Trainers and Coaches in their Boxes where the The competitive aspect has often prevailed by turning CrossFit into an exclusive physical activity that left little room for the lady who is now training in the CrossFit HQ set.
On the CrossFit website we talk about serious medical conditions, mixing these topics with a clear guide on the basic exercises that often have been left behind in favor of almost circus situations.
It is enough to see the evolution of videos on Youtube related to CrossFit and CrossFitter to realize that from an honest Fran we have often passed to situations worthy of an acrobatic show and certainly not for everyone. In addition to this there has been a proliferation of competitions that have become increasingly large and increasingly demanding in terms of athletic abilities.
Change everything to change nothing
Even the CrossFit, like any other product, has its own life cycle and after a phase of the so-called early adopters, which were in fact a limited number of people motivated by certain motivations, the spread of the Boxes and the massification of the CrossFit have brought it first at the peak of its diffusion and then at a slow abandonment by various affiliates.
And so then, as in any other sector, the need to reorganize the whole situation was presented in order to make it more popular than before by opening up to market segments that until now, despite CrossFit being for everyone, have been excluded by those trainers who had to contribute to their inclusion.
We talk about health, we almost deny the competitive part and basically it opens up to a new old CrossFit that has more to do with the life perspective of people than with their extreme performance.
A fact, the latter, which many affiliates do not like but which is instead an opportunity not only to really help people but also, in return, to exponentially expand their business by attracting new user groups.
In a short time CrossFit will be perceived as a healthy lifestyle that includes not only physical activity but also nutrition and healthy habits aimed at countering the decline of people linked to the development of society. In short, a return to the origins in the name of a very difficult mission: helping others to improve their quality of life.
This will be tomorrow’s CrossFit, cost what it costs, but surely let’s get ready to have more people of a certain age at the Box and to meet their motor needs that are certainly not continuous PR pushed to exasperation. Here’s how the CrossFit changes.
How do you prepare for this change already underway?
First of all setting aside their motivations in favor of those of the people who come and go to the pits, then becoming the most responsible and service-oriented Box Owners and Coaches.
And those who disagree with this path may not always renew the affiliation and remain with their niche of aficionados, while in its place will come new LORs that will surely seize the opportunities that open up before them.